Month: April 2014

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT THE FUTURE IS ENGLISH?

Nigel Pearson has excelled this year as manager for Leicester City, the Foxes are back in the premier league after a 10 year absence

Nigel Pearson has excelled this year as manager for Leicester City, the Foxes are back in the premier league after a 10 year absence

Football clubs these days tend to appoint overseas managers,Chelsea and Fulham to name some.Here at ayyazmalik.com we’re going to analyse to see if premier league clubs and more football league clubs in general maybe missing a trick by not appointing English managers.

What we will make you aware of is the talented managers who are in management at the moment, but might not be getting the recognition they deserve.

If we look at the premier league for example, where there is Steve Bruce managing Hull, we can quite clearly see the success they are currently enjoying this season. The Tigers are on course for their best premier league finish in their history and will be playing in a domestic cup final,Jose Mourinho can’t boast of that this season.

The former Huddersfield,Birmingham,Crystal Palace,Wigan and Sunderland boss does have a respectable record where ever he has been and although 53 year old is a bit more of a mature manager now, his CV is not bad at all and does deserve recognition of his achievements as a manager.

Then we have the example of Tottenham Hotstpur, they started the season with a foreign manager (Andre Villas Boas) and unfortunately for the Portuguese he got sacked in December after a few heavy defeats.Spurs replaced the former Porto and Chelsea coach with Englishmen Tim Sherwood.

The former under 21’s boss of Tottenham started off his reign as first team manager well, and crucially rejuvenated maverick forward Emanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker was a non starter for A.V.B and looked like he was going to leave the North London club, but Sherwood to his credit with good man management has helped Adebayor get back to the form the football world knows he is capable of.

Although the 45 year old isn’t the youngest for a manager these days, I think it’s impressive how he has improved the teams fortunes and got them scoring more goals.

Speculation has been on going about Sherwood’s future, but he has shown his capabilities to a degree as a manager. If the 45 year old does lose his job however (which would be harsh) then I feel this Englishmen shouldn’t have a problem to get back into management.

At times this season he has been outspoken,criticising players through the media,but with Tim Sherwood you can see a manager who is very passionate and cares for his team.

In the championship we have Leicester City,who are managed by former Hull City manager Nigel Pearson.The 51 year old again is a bit more of a mature manager, but he does deserve credit as the Foxes agonisingly lost out in the play offs to Crystal Palace last season.

Pearson has had 2 spells as Leicester city, and has been consistent in both spells,the 51 year old is a talented manager but maybe isn’t getting the recognition he deserves, maybe because he isn’t in the premier league.With the Foxes promoted,and hoping they have a good season next season that should change.

This year Leicester in the championship have been a breath of fresh air,they are also the leading scorers in the championship and are already promoted to the premier league and it looks like they’re going to be promoted to be as champions.Sven Goran Eriksson wasn’t able to do that.

Second in the championship is Sean Dyche’s Burnley,the Clarets weren’t expected to get this far and have shocked many,myself included.With the ‘deadly duo’ upfront (Danny Ings and Sam Vokes) Burnley are with touching distance of being in the premier league again.

What makes the feat all the more impressive is that they have out performed sides such as QPR,who have spent heavily on bringing players in.Impressive home form and a good team spirit, the Clarets deserve to be where they are.

Again we look to the championship to emphasise the talented English managers that are in management, but not might get the credit they deserve.

I am referring to of course Steve McLaren, referred to ‘as the wholly with a brolly’ after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

A lot has changed since then and the 52 year old has enjoyed success abroad with FC Twente in Holland, where he won the domestic tittle.

Difficult spells at Wolfsburg and then Notts Forest then followed ,but its at East Midland rivals Derby where McLaren again has showed the football world he is a talented football manager.

There is also league 1,where Wolves Manager Kenny Jacket has impressively got Wanderers promoted at the 1st attempt and as champions.

Like Tottenham Wolves initially went for the foreign route when they appointed Stale Solbakken, but that appointment wasn’t successful as Wolves from being a premier league side to a league 1 side. Kenny Jacket though looks like the man to improve Wolves’ fortunes.

Also in league 1,a special mention deserves to go to Lleyton Orient manager Russell Slade. The 53 year old has been at Brisbane Road for 4 years and the O’s are in the play offs after a impressive season. Impressive cup runs through out his tenure as well shouldn’t go unnoticed, the 53 year old Slade has shown his capabilities at this level and has shown he does deserve a crack at a higher level.

I can’t write a article of this nature and not mention Rochdale manager Keith Hill.The 44 year old has had 2 spells at Spotland, and in this spell with Rochdale he looks almost certain to get them promoted again.

44 year old Hill is the youngest of all the managers we have profiled, but he has shown that he is a very talented manager. Keith Hill’s time at Barnsley after having a good 1st spell with Rochdale was disappointing and till this day is a black mark in his cv.

A good 1st spell though at Spotland,Hill’s time at Oakwell shouldn’t over shadow the success he has had at Rochdale.

So football league and premier league chairmen take note, you don’t have to look for a foreign manager all the time as we have shown you in this article there is talent ‘right on your door step’ so to speak, and in Derby’s case its proof in the pudding.

IS IT TICKA TOCKA FOR ‘TIKA TAKA’?

Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona's standards

Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona’s standards.

If David Moyes’ start at Manchester United has been hard, its fair to say Gerrardo Martino it hasn’t exactly been a stroll in the park for the former Newell Old Boys manager. Here at ayyazmalik.com we take a closer look to see if the so called ‘tika taka’ style of football is to blame for the apparent failures of Martino this season.

The ‘tika taka’ which seemed to come into prominence in the trophy laden era of Pep Guardiola. Neat intricate passing,with good ball retention and not to forget to mention the very high pressing up the pitch, Barcelona were most teams nightmare. So you think with Tito Villanova carrying on the good work that Guardiola did, it would be hard to see where the problem is.

Fast forward a season, and Barca are third in La Liga and are out of the Champions League after being knocked in the Quarter final stage by La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. Its not all bad lets not forget to mention that this year in La Liga its the closest tittle race in at least 20 years and as it stands at this current moment there is 3 points separating 3 teams (although Barca’s rivals have played a game less as it stands at this present moment). Wednesdays Copa Del Rey final does give them a chance of a trophy, so its not that bad but with Barcelona comes expectancy.

In tighter games this season they have failed, the matches Atletico Madrid and Granada. The Grananda game in particular Barca seemed to have no answer to the La Liga strugglers’ defensive shape where they lined up with ‘ 2 rows of 4’the Catalan giants couldn’t break them down and looked like never scoring in their 1-0 defeat to the La Liga strugglers, who ended a 3 game losing run with this shock win.

What seems apparent is that other teams (for example Liverpool and Bayern Munich) have taken the ‘tika taka’ playing system and improved by giving it more flexibility and not being afraid to have different formations. A prime example is when Bayern Munich came to Old Trafford and didn’t start with a ‘out and out forward’ but at the Allianz arena they did.Barcelona don’t have this player and thats maybe to there disadvantage, the Granada game again a example of Barcelona needing to change things, towards the of the game to be fair Barca tried to get more crosses into the Granada box, but unfortunately for the Catalans Lionel Messi is a ‘giant in stature and not in size’. Barcelona have lacked a plan B in games where its really mattered and thats one of the key concerns for Barca.

Iniesta,Xavi and Pedro for example are the epitome of ‘the Barcelona way’ but with no Champions League trophies in 4 seasons a club of Barca’s stature don’t take something like this lightly. Whats needed is ‘a slight tweak of their current playing style, where teams like Bayern have bigger players who are good athletes, Barca on the other hand have ‘small players and can and have been vulnerable on set pieces’, further emphasising the effect Carlos Puyol’s absence has had on the Catalan giants.

Barca might have to against ‘their football philosophy’ but thats part of having a ‘plan B’.The fact that Barcelona have had this transfer ban due to the Neymar affair ‘isn’t the worst thing in the world’ because this will prompt them to go and pick players from the famed La Masia academy, and that can’t be a bad thing.Barcelona are the founders of ‘tika taka’ and their model is being used by different clubs, so obviously there is still life in this system yet. Barcelona will be back Europe, rest assured this great club always bounces back from disappointment.

SHOULD DAVID MOYES BE SACKED?

(David Moyes has found it tough since replacing Sir Alex)

(David Moyes has found it tough since replacing Sir Alex)


He was given one of the toughest tasks in world football, replace Sir Alex Ferguson one of the most successful managers of all time and in world football. Sir Alex’s successor David Moyes has found it very hard in his first season, in this article we discuss some issues which has not helped David Moyes and may explain just what the exact reasons are for a disappointing first season at Old Trafford and if he should get sacked. So where has it gone wrong for Moyes this season? there has been several factors, and in this article we will discuss them.

BACK ROOM STAFF

One of the keys to success is having good back room staff, the bedrock to Manchester United’s success over the years has been excellent coaches, Brian Kidd , Rene Mulensteen and Steve McLaren to name some. Thats not to say there is anything wrong with David Moyes wanting to bring his own staff, it’s actually understandable wanting to bring the coaches he had at Everton since he would have worked with the coaches for so long, so possibly the Scot may have thought they would bring that sense of stability to him. Such thinking is rational , but the problem is none of David Moyes’s coaches he had at Everton would have had the experience of being at a club such as Manchester United , although getting Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville as coaches. The problem with the decision of getting rid of experience coaches is that it adds to the rebuilding, a different set of coaches different ideas could take a while to be implemented, a club like Manchester United prides itself on being a step ahead of the other clubs. What would have been ideal is to have kept some of the experienced coaches and integrated them into the set up that he wants to lay out (David Moyes) . To much change is potentially destabilising, especially for a club the size of Manchester United.

SUMMER SIGININGS AND SIGNINGS IN GENERAL

That fact that I have to raise this point, is a big point in itself. United would usually be one step ahead of everyone else in this department, but under Moyes they have been left wanting in this department. Players ‘not wanting to come’ to the reigning champions was some thing we very rarely heard of in Fergie’s time in charge. Fabregras, Hererra and Coentrao are some players you can name who Manchester United missed out on, and more worryingly it seemed the Red Devils lacked a plan almost in regards to their transfer policy. The clearest example of that was the signing of Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian hasn’t set the world a light its fair to say since his £27.5 million transfer, but the biggest gaff out of this signing is that they could have got their man a little earlier in the summer when he had a buy out clause of £24 million. Many believe, myself included is that Fellaini was a ‘panic buy’ due to the fact if Manchester United did want him they could have signed him for a few million less. Overall United lacked direction when it came to signings and the clearest example of that was there was only one signing in the summer and even that was last minute on deadline day . What came across is that Manchester United didn’t know what players to sign, as a consequence they have lost ground on their rivals who had clear strategies in the transfer market.

TACTICS OR TEAM SELECTION

Again this is another area where United have been lacking. Manchester United have lacked ideas on the football pitch, painful defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool were a prime example of Manchester United’s tactical deficiencies. In both games they were out thought and fought as City and Liverpool went to Old Trafford and came out on top against the Red Devils. At times this season the reigning champions have been lethargic, lacklustre. Its been hard to see how they won the tittle last year under Sir Alex which such ease, essentially United have the same team as last year. So why are United so flat footed and being outplayed? there are a few reasons for this, the team struggling to adapt to David Moyes’s methods could be one reason. Personally I have been puzzled why Javier Hernandez and Sinji Kagawa have not been involved in first team action, both have made positive contributions when they have played. Other decisions include Wilfred Zaha being loaned to Cardiff , strange considering Ashley Young has not been in so good form this season. Juan Mata a £37.1 million signing from Chelsea who was signed as a ‘number 10’ has been put out of position on the wing, seems bit odd you pay so much for a guy to do one job and assign him for another.

SO SHOULD MOYES BE SACKED?

In short no he shouldn’t, as they say Rome was not built in a day. The problem David Moyes has is that he has a inexperienced chief executive who needs time to prove himself, just like Moyes does. Many don’t consider it as a factor , but Sir Alex left his countryman to do the dirty work. Fergie would pride himself on out smarting his rivals and always thinking ahead, but the great Scot changed his transfer policy towards the end of his reign and only bought established players, where in certain cases were overpriced. Players like Rooney and Ronaldo were great investments, the fact that Ferguson didn’t adopt the ‘investment method’ has made it harder for his successor. David Moyes deserves time, but he has made errors as highlighted. To truly judge Moyes we will have to see the signings he makes.